Climate-proofing raises EV bangus production 500%

Production slowdown during the typhoon season minimizes fish losses

Milkfish breeders in Eastern Visayas are reaping the benefits of climate-proofing technologies as they raised production by 500 percent in the past six years, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources office in Region 8 said on Friday.

BFAR-8 said bangus production in the region increased from 400 metric tons in 2016 to 2,000 metric tons in October 2022.

“Fisheries production in Mariculture parks continues to thrive in Eastern Visayas despite the economical and climate change challenges faced by the fish cage operators,” the agency said.

Fish cage operators are now using floating high-density polyethylene cages and have adoption a new cropping calendar in their production system, according to BFAR-8.

HDPE cages are widely used worldwide due to the versatility of their materials, its relative simplicity in the performance of the various farming operations and the comparatively limited investment capital required.

“To avoid great production loss which usually happens during the Santacruzan of typhoons in the last quarter of the year and having observed slow growth of bangus during the cold months, some operators would minimally stock fingerlings in their cages while most opt to not stock at all,” BFAR added.

Slowing down operations when typhoons are coming one after the other also allows the sea to “rest” naturally and recover as sediments are flushed out because of the strong water current in production areas.

Normal operations are resumed in January.

Meanwhile, to support mariculture parks and to address fingerling shortage, BFAR-8 said it has established legislated hatcheries in strategic locations regionwide to augment fry production from existing BFAR hatcheries.

“Fry are grown in fishponds for 5 to 7 inches fingerlings (garungan size), the suitable size for stocking in marine cages. Corollary, the Bureau continues its broodstock development program in the region to ensure sustainable fry sufficiency,” it stated.

The Bureau said it continues to encourage private companies to supply quality and affordable feeds to mariculture operators.

“Development programs on culture and production of high value fish species such as groupers, rabbit fish and lobsters are currently implemented in its six provinces,” BFAR added.

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